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Orgeron, Saban see great teams on other side; Orgeron makes Heisman pitch for Fournette

LSU coach Ed Orgeron and Alabama coach Nick Saban jumped on the SEC Coaches Teleconference to talk about the teams' upcoming showdown in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.

What Orgeron has learned as coach is all coming together

LSU coach Ed Orgeron has been through a lot at Ole Miss and as interim coach at USC, but during his development, he's always taken time to learn and find ways to grow as a coach. That mindset has led him to where he is now, which is being prepared to potentially be the permanent coach of the Tigers.

"I've learned as a head coach. We've been successful trying some new things," Orgeron said on Wednesday's SEC Coaches teleconference. "I think the thing that was beneficial for me was going through that and learn, write down notes in the five years of what I did wrong, and correct them and I've corrected most of those things. My style of coaching is different."

Has there ben an adjustment to becoming head coach from defensive line coach? Sure, but all the additional responsibilities is something Orgeron relishes.

"It's something I enjoy. I enjoy getting out and seeing the people, especially the people of Louisiana," Orgeron said. "We believe that if you're organized, get up early in the morning, you should be able to do it."

His first order of business was getting everyone on the same page. When a new coach takes over, Orgeron says it's like having to recruit the players all over again some of the time.

"I know some of the things that had to be fixed and get the staff on the same page. There's always that concern of what are they going to think about this approach, they have liked it," Orgeron said. "I treat everyday as a recruiting day. When you have success, they buy in a little more."

Alabama and LSU coaches see great matchup ahead

Orgeron has been praising Alabama all week and on Wednesday, Alabama coach Nick Saban took his turn on the coaches teleconference.

"This is obviously the biggest game of the year. Always is. They're always very, very good," Saban said. "It always has significance in our division and certainly does this year so our players have done a good job all week of trying to get ready for a very good team. About as good of a team as we've played all year especially with how they're playing right now."

LSU has a few keys to the game on offense for Orgeron and he said Dave Aranda is the top defensive coordinator in college football, which will only help the Tigers be prepared.

"Protect the quarterback, make throws down the field and open it up for us to run the ball," Orgeron said. "On defense, it's been hard to score on Dave Aranda. In my opinion, the top defensive coordinator today. Great mind, great asset to our program. We've got great players and he's going to have them in the right position."

Both defenses are two of the top units in the country and Saban said LSU's discipline and coaching on defense set them apart.

"They're very well coached. They got good players that are very disciplined in how they play. I think everybody doing their job and being disciplined in what they do makes them very good because they have really good players and secondary and front guys are good. They got good pass rushers and linebackers."

Across the board, Orgeron said Alabama has some special players on defense that LSU will have to account for.

"It all starts up front. It all starts with the three-technique that they have. They have Da'Sahwn Hand and all those guys that have been really great players. I think all those guys will be ready to play. They're very well coached," Orgeron said. "Their linebackers do a great job coming down. Dalvin Tomlison is a great player and plays with great technique. Tim Williams and Reuben Foster are special linebackers. Should be a challenge."

Saban said Danny Etling has been a key piece to LSU's offensive success as it's not only about his abilities to throw, but the mental aspect of the game.

"I think they've made a lot of explosive plays. I think they've got a very talented group of receivers. I think their quarterback is very smart in how he implements their offense," Saban said. "He gets them out of good and bad running plays and is good in the play-action and vertical passing game. It's something they've always had, but I think it's more effective now with the skill guys and the quarterback. They've made more explosive plays."

LSU's offensive line will be one of the major keys to the game and Saban said the group has all the ability to move the football.

"They've got a very good offensive line. They've got great size and they're very athletic guys. They get moving in the running game," Saban said. "They have a great understanding of what they're trying to do on plays that they run and they do a very effective job of executing and playing together."

Finally, Orgeron said on his radio show that getting production from LSU's special teams across the board will be key.

"We want to be aggressive & cause turnovers. We need key field goals. Use special teams to our advantage," Orgeron said.

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Orgeron makes Heisman pitch for Fournette

LSU running back Leonard Fournette returned to the Tigers against Ole Miss to set a single-game rushing record for LSU. Orgeron believes it was further validation that he's the best player in college football and should get Heisman consideration. 

"For sure. He's the best player in the country. I don't know how that works, but I know this: when I was at USC, Carson Palmer had a great last three games, beat Notre Dame and won the Heisman," Orgeron said. "When you look at the things he did last week, it puts him in consideration, obviously. If there's a better player in the country, I'd like to see him."

If anyone doubts that Fournette is going to bring his best against Alabama after last year's 19 carries for 31 yards, Orgeron said not to worry.

"He's the most motivated guy on the team, to be honest with you. His leadership, he's spoken to the team, he'll speak to the team again," Orgeron said. "His "want to" against Alabama is as high as anyone I've seen so I think he's going to have success with execution. We need to execute as Alabama is going to come in here and have great execution."

Fournette did speak to the team later Wednesday again as well as safety Jamal Adams and on his radio show Wednesday night, Orgeron said fans would have liked what they heard.

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